Province honours servicemen

The wreath-laying ceremony at the Balclutha dawn service. Photo by Samuel White.
The wreath-laying ceremony at the Balclutha dawn service. Photo: Samuel White.
Cadet Emerson Shea-Greer, of Dunedin, and No 42 Squadron City of Dunedin Air Training Corp formed...
Cadet Emerson Shea-Greer, of Dunedin, and No 42 Squadron City of Dunedin Air Training Corp formed part of the honour guard at the Outram service. Photo: Gregor Richardson.
Bugler Christine Wright, of Alexandra, plays Last Post at the Alexandra service. Photo: Pam Jones.
Bugler Christine Wright, of Alexandra, plays Last Post at the Alexandra service. Photo: Pam Jones.
The Balclutha Pipe Band marches down Union St in Milton. Photo: Samuel White.
The Balclutha Pipe Band marches down Union St in Milton. Photo: Samuel White.
Green Island Scouts Alice Barrett (11) and Jonathan Tucker (10) lay posies of rosemary on the veterans graves at Green Park Cemetery, near Waldronville. Photo: Gregor Richardson.
Green Island Scouts Alice Barrett (11) and Jonathan Tucker (10) lay posies of rosemary on the veterans graves at Green Park Cemetery, near Waldronville. Photo: Gregor Richardson.
Gabby McGowan (7), of Mosgiel, lays a poppy at the foot of the Mosgiel cenotaph. Photo: Gregor Richardson.
Gabby McGowan (7), of Mosgiel, lays a poppy at the foot of the Mosgiel cenotaph. Photo: Gregor Richardson.

Thousands of people turned out in Otago yesterday, attending services and parades to honour those who served in New Zealand’s armed forces.

Dunedin

More than 9000 gathered at the Dunedin Cenotaph to pay their respects, despite cold, misty weather during the dawn service.

Dunedin RSA president Lox Kellas said he was pleased with the turnout, particularly considering the weather.

''I was pleased to see so many schools here,'' he said. ''People from right across the whole spectrum - it's pleasing to see.''

More than 500 people gathered at the Mosgiel Cenotaph at 9.30am, following a large parade from the Mosgiel Memorial RSA and down Gordon Rd.

At a service at the RSA afterwards, Cr Mike Lord addressed the crowd.

''They call it the Great War,'' he said. ''I just wonder what people were thinking of when they called it that. You have a great day ... but you don't have a great war.''

Almost 400 attended the Otago University Students' Association Anzac Service at the Otago University Memorial Walk.

Two rounds from a 25-pounder field gun, a World War 2 relic, began proceedings.

Association president Hugh Baird spoke of the ''fierce rivalry'' between the Anzac nations.

''Our relationship is like that of young siblings. We may bicker and argue a lot but our parents will always insist that we do, in fact, love each other and we know that to be true.''

Elsewhere in Dunedin, about 400 people attended each ceremony at the Andersons Bay Soldiers Cemetery and Brighton. About 300 went to the Green Island service and the same number were at the Montecillo Veterans Home & Hospital morning service.

About 250 gathered for a posy-laying ceremony at the Green Park Cemetery.

East Otago

More than 500 people, many of them young, attended services in East Otago, Palmerston, Waikouaiti and Dunback.

There were now 41,000 ex-servicemen and women in New Zealand, Palmerston RSA president Tom Price said.

Every cent raised through poppy sales was used for the welfare of the ex-service people, he said.

Wakatipu

About 2000 people attended the dawn service at the Memorial Gates on Queenstown's waterfront.

Among those present were Police Commissioner Mike Bush, members of the Australian and New Zealand police rugby teams and representatives of the Australian and British High Commissions.

Later in the morning, about 700 people filled the Queenstown Memorial Centre for a service following a march of veterans from the Memorial Gates.

In Arrowtown, it was standing room only at a service in the Athenaeum Hall. More than 400 people were inside and an estimated 300 congregated outside on Buckingham St.

Wakatipu High School pupil Olivia Ray (17) gave a heartfelt speech, comparing the opportunities open to her today with those available to people near her age when they were called up to serve in World War 1 and 2. Arrowtown ward councillor Scott Stevens spoke about the war experience of his grandfather and great uncle.

After the service, veterans paraded to Memorial Hill to lay wreaths.

In Glenorchy, more than 150 people attended a ceremony at the village's war memorial, where Wakatipu High School pupil Olivia McHugo (17) spoke.

Central Otago

About 500 people attended the Alexandra service, at which Captain Wayne Small, of the Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment, spoke.

About 500 people also attended the Clyde service, at which Captain Small was also the guest speaker.

Large numbers of families and young people attended the Clyde service.

Afterwards, Alexandra pilot Nigel Forrester performed a flyover in his replica World War 1 Fokker.

In the Teviot Valley, about 200 people attended the dawn service in Roxburgh and another 200 attended a later service in Millers Flat.

More than 150 people attended the dawn service in Ranfurly, which featured significant numbers of young people. More than 100 people also attended a second Maniototo service later in the morning, in Patearoa.

In Omakau, about 200 people gathered.

A special tribute was made to men from the Omakau district who died in combat during 1917. Five locals died on the first day of Passchendaele and another four died later in the year.

About 350 people attended the Bannockburn service and almost 600 people attended the Cromwell service.

In Tarras, the community hall was filled with about 60 people.

South Otago

Balclutha hosted a dawn service attended by more than 350 people, who watched the Balclutha Pipe Band, RSA members, defence and emergency services march down Renfrew St to the cenotaph.

Second Lieutenant Aiden Toder spoke about the importance of Anzac Day and reminded the crowd to remember there were many threats New Zealanders faced, not just from war, as was proven with recent natural disasters in the country and the possible threat from overseas forces.

The main street in Milton, Union, was closed as the Balclutha Pipe Band led the march from the RSA to the Cenotaph where a service was conducted by the Rev Graham Langley.

Clutha Mayor Bryan Cadogan also spoke. About 300 people lined the street.

In Lawrence, Clutha District councillor Geoff Blackmore said about 250 attended the day service in Simpson Park before moving over to the Peace Gardens, where the wreath-laying ceremony took place at the cenotaph.

In West Otago, Cr Michele Kennedy said this year's service in Tapanui was one of the biggest there for a long time.

''The seats were full and they were lined up on the back wall.''

The Heriot service was also very well attended, Cr John Herbert said.

The noon service in Kaka Point was attended by about 75 people and officiated by RSA member Martin Ford.

Last Post was performed by Catlins Area School pupil Alannah Anderson (10).

Services were also held in Clinton, Taieri Mouth, Tuapeka Mouth, Milton Fairfax Cemetery, Dunrobin and Kaitangata.

Upper Clutha

About 500 people braved the early morning cold to attend dawn services at the recently restored memorial at Lake Hawea and at the Wanaka lakefront.

Ross Cooper and his wife Donna moved from Whangarei to Cromwell a year ago and attended the Lake Hawea dawn service for the first time.

Mrs Cooper had been to 30 Anzac Day services around New Zealand and said yesterday morning's was the ''most amazing'' one she had attended.

''The location was spectacular and it was wonderful to see the way young ones were included in the service,'' she said.

Former Naval Commodore Lyal Cocks said the Lake Wanaka Centre 9.30am service was well attended and the wreath-laying service at the war memorial in Chalmers St had an unexpected highlight, as the Nasa balloon rose in the sky just as it finished.

North Otago

A crisp morning greeted those at at Oamaru's dawn service at the Great War Memorial yesterday.

About 1500 people filled lower Thames St to sing the national anthems of New Zealand and Australia, pray, and pay respect to soldiers of the past and present serving in conflicts and peace missions all around the globe.

Waitaki deputy mayor Melanie Tavendale conducted the official welcome, cabinet minister and Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean spoke about remembrance and the work of New Zealand soldiers, and Returned and Services Association's Ian Kofoed delivered the Anzac dedication.

There were about 17 official services throughout the area including at Dunback, Enfield, Livingstone, Hampden, Hakataramea and Otekaieke.

Oamaru's John Ford said he attended the Oamaru dawn service to give thanks for a life with freedom, something soldiers had fought for.

His family was touched by war when his father served in the Philippines.

''As time goes on, I think about my dad. He was one of the men who never let information out. He kept it to himself, but I've seen all the pictures.''

Oamaru's Goldie Moore (7) attended the dawn service after he and his siblings were bribed by their parents with pancakes.

He said during the service he thought about war. His friend Lars Finn (6) said war would be terrible to go to because people died.

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